How to Prepare for Voice Search

Voice Search for Associations

Voice search is here to stay. It is the latest move in search tech and adoption is only going to gain speed over the next couple years. But what impact is it really going to have on your association? Will you be able to take advantage of it to provide meaningful content to members and maybe even drive non-dues revenue? Great questions, all of them. 

Let’s define what we’re talking about here. In 2011 Google introduced the world to a new way of searching for content with the sound of your voice. While a cool little trick at the time, it has since grown into a tidal wave now looming over the entire search marketing industry. 

While Comscore’s 2017 prediction of 50% of searches being conducted via voice search by 2020 seems a bit unrealistic, we will see increased adoption across more age demographics as well as usage types (sending text messages, ordering food or researching a topic). 

To date, the majority of voice searches are focused around local (help me get to where I need to go) or commerce (help me buy what I want to buy). That is evolving too as more users find themselves trusting the results they get from using voice search for simply tasks and try new, more complex tasks. 

What does voice search mean to associations and non-profits? 

Here is where my opinion may differ from other search professionals. Rather than tout that voice search is going to change the landscape for associations and that you need to spend a ton of time and money optimizing for it right now, I say this…

You’ve got time. Don’t ignore it, but don’t feel you need to flip your search strategy on its head right now. I would look for ways to incrementally optimize for voice search so when it does matter, and your members are using it on a weekly or daily basis, you’re there for them. 

Planning for Voice Search

Even if you didn’t create another piece of content for your website from this day forward, there are still things you can do to help your website rank organically and eventually in voice search. Here are a few you may want to consider. 

  1. Use schema. Schema is a library of tags you can use to better define the context of your content in order to improve how you show up in result pages. It is also one of the most underutilized tactics out there right now. If you have a WordPress site there are good schema plugins for WordPress you can use to implement schema and keep it relatively easy to maintain.

  2. Update your Title tags. You’ll hear me talk about this a lot because it is still the single most important on-page factor there is. Using your keywords at the beginning of your title tag is critical. Do this for every page on your website and make sure each page has a unique title.

  3. Link from blog posts to your most important topic pages. If you have a blog, make sure you are linking from within your content to the primary pages you’d like to see show up on the first page of Google.

There are plenty of other ways your association can get ready for voice search but start small, start simple. Tackle these and then look for three more small steps to take. Before you know it, your Google Home device will be reading your website to you in no time!

Contact us if you’d like to discuss a more in-depth voice search strategy for your association.

 

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